Early in 2016 I made a road trip to the Wimmera Mallee in Victoria. I was intrigued by this montage of old petrol and oil signs around Horsham that signified an earlier of motoring–some are prior to 1945. Veedol, for instance, was the motor oil chosen by Henry Ford to be the used in the Model “T” which was the world’s first mass-produced car. Veedol motor oil signs now sell on ebay as… Read More
This archival gallery provides the historical context, and reference point, for the contemporary images in the other Mallee Routes’ galleries. Most of these archival photos of the history of the Mallee were found in the National Library of Australia’s Trove collection or the Victorian State Library. One valuable resource in this archive is the Bill Boyd Photographic Collection in the Museum Victoria Collections. Most of the vernacular photographs in the Boyd collection were taken between… Read More
I have another Mallee trip planned in early November with my base camp being at Murrayville. So I took the opportunity whilst traveling along the Calder Highway between Ouyen and Mildura to rendezvous with Judith Crispin to go to Lajamanu in the northern Tanami Desert to do a little exploring and photographic scoping. As I hadn’t been on the Calder Highway before so I was interested in seeing what this part of… Read More
We–Gilbert Roe, Eric Algra and myself-— are having an exhibition at the Atkins Photo Lab gallery opening October 7th, 2016. This is a kick starter exhibition for the project, as it were. We each have an individual section in the gallery for our images and a common space of shared images. It will be minimal from my perspective–I have the least number of the images in the exhibition- only 5 images— but I do have a number… Read More
I noticed this silo when I was driving from Lameroo to Karoonda on my way back to Victor Harbor after the silo photoshoot at Lameroo. It was near a little hamlet or settlement called Kulkami in the southern Mallee. There was no railway line near the silo. It was late in the afternoon and the burst of sunlight had gone by the time that I’d walked around the fenced area to find the right position or perspective to photograph… Read More
The images in this portfolio are of the South Australian and the Victorian Wimmera Mallee. They were initially made during the three years of the collaborative phase of the project (2017-2019), then the second solo phrase of the project The film cameras that were used were primarily medium and large format (5×7 and 5×4).
Today these war memorials embody the Anzac Legend, which continues to lie at the centre of Australian identity. The Anzac Legend holds that Australian War Memorials represent the soul of the nation. The Legend’s current function and place within Australian culture is that of a creation story: it distills the Australian identity in one historical moment–the nation was born on the battlefields of Gallipoli. It is a creation story— nations are made in war—-but one that excludes the Frontier Wars in our Anzac Day commemorations.
Although it is the grain silos along the old railway lines that dominate the landscape in the Mallee, the odd-looking, elevated water towers also stand out in the regional landscape.
The decaying and empty houses in the dying small towns is one of the most obvious features of the Mallee in South Australia and Victoria, and it is largely the result of the de-population of the inland countryside that started in the late 20th century around the 1970s. An era was coming to a close.
One notable aspect of the Mallee in the Murray-Darling Basin is that, apart from the various national parks, it primarily consists of agricultural landscapes, small towns, and minimal, scrappy native vegetation along the side of the roads.